The Empire Strikes Back, also known as Star Wars: Episode V–The Empire Strikes Back, is a 1980 epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner and written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, based on a story from George Lucas. Produced by Lucasfilm, it is the second film in the Star Wars film series (albeit the fifth chronologically) and the sequel to Star Wars (1977). Set three years after the events of the first film, the Galactic Empire, under the leadership of Darth Vader and the Emperor, pursues Luke Skywalker and the rest of the Rebel Alliance. While Vader relentlessly pursues Luke’s friends—Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO—Luke studies the Force under Jedi Master Yoda. The ensemble cast includes Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, and Frank Oz.